Pianist

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Sergei Rachmaninoff at the piano Rachmaninoff playing Steinway grand piano.jpg
Sergei Rachmaninoff at the piano
Motion capture of two pianists' fingers playing the same piece (slow motion, no sound). [1]
'Humoresque' by Sergei Rachmaninoff

A pianist ( US: /pˈænɪst/ pee-AN-ist, also /ˈpənɪst/ PEE-ə-nist) is a musician who plays the piano. A pianist's repertoire may include music from a diverse variety of styles, such as traditional classical music, jazz, blues, and popular music, including rock and roll. Most pianists can, to an extent, easily play other keyboard instruments such as the synthesizer, harpsichord, celesta, and the organ.

Contents

Pianists past and present

Contemporary classical pianists focus on dedicating their careers to performing, recording, teaching, researching, and continually adding new compositions to their repertoire. In contrast to their 19th-century counterparts, they typically do not engage in the composition or transcription of music. While some classical pianists may specialize in accompaniment and chamber music, a smaller number opt for full-time solo careers.

Classical

Gaspard de la nuit by Maurice Ravel is considered a highly technically challenging piano piece. [2]

Mozart could be considered the first concert pianist, as he performed widely on the piano. Composers Beethoven and Clementi from the Classical era were also famed for their playing, as were, from the Romantic era, Liszt, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, and Schumann. The Romantic era also saw the emergence of pianists better known for their performances than for composing, such as Clara Schumann and Hans von Bülow.

Jazz

Tord Gustavsen playing piano during a concert at the 2016 Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway Tord Gustavsen (221258).jpg
Tord Gustavsen playing piano during a concert at the 2016 Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway

Jazz pianists almost always perform with other musicians. Their playing is more free than that of classical pianists, and they create an air of spontaneity in their performances. They generally do not write down their compositions; improvisation is a significant part of their work. Well known jazz pianists include Bill Evans, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Brad Mehldau.

Pop and rock

Popular pianists might work as live performers (concert, theatre, etc.) or session musicians. Arrangers most likely feel at home with synthesizers and other electronic keyboard instruments. Notable popular pianists include Liberace, who at the height of his fame was one of the highest paid entertainers in the world , as well as Elton John and Billy Joel, so nicknamed "The Piano Man", others include Richard Clayderman, who is known for his covers of popular tunes and the late Victor Borge, who performed as a comedian.

Pianists by genre

A single listing of pianists in all genres would be impractical, given the multitude of musicians noted for their performances on the instrument. Below are links to lists of well-known or influential pianists divided by genres:

Classical pianists

Jazz pianists

Pop and rock music pianists

Blues pianists

Gospel pianists

New-age pianists

Pianist-composers

Many important composers were also virtuoso pianists. The following is an incomplete list of such musicians.

Classical period (1730–1820)

Romantic period (1800–1910)

Modern period

Contemporary period

Amateur pianism

An amateur pianist playing outdoors at Pike Place market in Seattle. Johnny Hahn January 2012.JPG
An amateur pianist playing outdoors at Pike Place market in Seattle.

Some people, having received a solid piano training in their youth, decide not to continue their musical careers but choose nonmusical ones. As a result, there are prominent communities of amateur pianists all over the world that play at quite a high level and give concerts not to earn money but just for the love of music. [3] The International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, held annually in Paris, attracts about one thousand listeners each year and is broadcast on French radio.

Jon Nakamatsu, the Gold Medal winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for professional pianists in Fort Worth, Texas (1997) was at the moment of his victory technically an amateur: he never attended a music conservatory or majored in music, and worked as a high school German teacher at the time; it was only after the competition that he started pursuing a career as a classical pianist.

The German pianist Davide Martello is known for traveling around conflict zones to play his moving piano. Martello has previously been recognized by the European Parliament for his "outstanding contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values". [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cadenza</span> Improvised solo between musical sections

In music, a cadenza is, generically, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing virtuosic display. During this time the accompaniment will rest, or sustain a note or chord. Thus an improvised cadenza is indicated in written notation by a fermata in all parts. A cadenza will usually occur over either the final or penultimate note in a piece, the lead-in, or the final or penultimate note in an important subsection of a piece. It can also be found before a final coda or ritornello.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carl Czerny</span> Austrian composer, teacher and pianist (1791–1857)

Carl Czerny was an Austrian composer, teacher, and pianist of Czech origin whose music spanned the late Classical and early Romantic eras. His vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works and his books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching. He was one of Ludwig van Beethoven's best-known pupils and would later on be one of the main teachers of Franz Liszt.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Claudio Arrau</span> Chilean pianist

Claudio Arrau León was a Chilean pianist known for his interpretations of a vast repertoire spanning the baroque to 20th-century composers, especially Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Brahms. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.

A piano trio is a group of piano and two other instruments, usually a violin and a cello, or a piece of music written for such a group. It is one of the most common forms found in classical chamber music. The term can also refer to a group of musicians who regularly play this repertoire together; for a number of well-known piano trios, see below.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Piano concerto</span> Type of concerto of consisting of a solo piano composition accompanied by an orchestra

A piano concerto, a type of concerto, is a solo composition in the classical music genre which is composed for piano accompanied by an orchestra or other large ensemble. Piano concertos are typically virtuosic showpieces which require an advanced level of technique. Piano concertos are typically written out in music notation, including sheet music for the pianist, orchestral parts, and a full score for the conductor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Benno Moiseiwitsch</span> Russian and British pianist (1890–1963)

Benno Moiseiwitsch was a Russian and British pianist.

Emil Grigoryevich Gilels was a Soviet pianist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shura Cherkassky</span> American classical pianist (1909–1995)

Shura Cherkassky was a Russian-American concert pianist known for his performances of the romantic repertoire. His playing was characterized by a virtuoso technique and singing piano tone. For much of his later life, Cherkassky resided in London.

Yeol Eum Son is a world renowned South Korean classical pianist. She is particularly esteemed as an interpreter of the Classical era of composers, especially Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, as well as such later composers as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Son regularly performs as soloist with prominent orchestras and eminent conductors.

Sergio Fiorentino was a 20th-century Italian classical pianist whose sporadic performing career spanned five decades. There is quite a bit of footage of his playing that survives, in addition to audio recordings. Recently, a complete concert recorded on video in 1994 has surfaced.

Ronald Turini is a world renowned Canadian classical pianist. He is the first Canadian artist to win prizes at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and the Geneva International Music Competition, both in 1958, and the 1960 Queen Elisabeth Competition, where he was acclaimed by juror Emil Gilels. He was an acknowledged student of Vladimir Horowitz, and was known to be Horowitz' personally most highly regarded student.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Katin</span> British pianist and teacher (1930–2015)

Peter Roy Katin was a British classical pianist and teacher.

Albert Ferber was a Swiss pianist who had an international performing career that spanned four decades and took him across the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carol Rosenberger</span> American musician and academic

Carol Rosenberger is a classical pianist. In 1976, Rosenberger was chosen to represent America's women concert artists by the President's National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. She has given performance workshops for young musicians on campuses nationwide. Rosenberger recorded over 30 albums on the Delos Productions, Inc. recording label. Rosenberger's memoir, To Play Again: A Memoir of Musical Survival was published in 2018 by She Writes Press.

Vassily Primakov is a Russian concert pianist and recording artist known for his interpretations of Chopin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Leuschner</span> German classical pianist and professor of piano

Michael Leuschner, Germany, is a German classical pianist and professor of piano at the University of Music Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edmund Battersby</span> Classical pianist

Edmund Battersby was a classical pianist and professor at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barbara Nissman</span> American pianist

Barbara Nissman is an American pianist. She is especially known for her interpretations and performances of the works of Alberto Ginastera and Sergei Prokofiev which feature prominently in her repertoire. She is also a writer and a producer of a new DVD series, and a guest clinician presenting concerts, master classes and lectures world-wide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abegg Trio</span> German piano trio

The Abegg Trio was a German piano trio. Since its foundation in 1976, it played in the original line-up.

References

  1. Goebl, W.; Palmer, C. (2013). Balasubramaniam, Ramesh (ed.). "Temporal Control and Hand Movement Efficiency in Skilled Music Performance". PLOS ONE. 8 (1): e50901. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...850901G. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050901 . PMC   3536780 . PMID   23300946.
  2. Burton-Hill, Clemency. "How performers conquer 'unplayable' works". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  3. Andreas, Møller. "Professionel pianist leverer dinnermusik til jeres fest af højeste klasse". Pianomusic.dk. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  4. Bucks, Jonathan (15 November 2015). "Paris attacks: pianist 'drove 400 miles through the night' to pay tribute". The Guardian .